Those folks who spend any length of casual time with me or friends who know me well will acknowledge my kinship with communication technology (e.g., tablet, laptop, email, texting, social media, etc.). I’ve always been somewhat of a geeky introvert (yes, I have) so these forms of “talking” or staying in touch with people have been my favored or preferred methods of contact. I enjoy writing and playing with words. Just because I have a smartphone doesn’t mean I use it for conversation; it provides my link to email accounts, texts and the Internet. However, lately I’ve been increasing my personal face-to-face contact with people and with surprising results.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” ~ Nelson Mandela
I’m sure part of my past hesitation to communicate verbally stems from being hushed as a child. The adage “Children should be seen and not heard” was a constant reminder that I had not yet earned the right to speak with any wisdom or knowledge of life. I developed a fondness for collecting quotations that expressed what I could not find the words to say. I carried the idea of being reserved into adulthood for many years, speaking only when I truly felt passionate about a particular situation, injustice, cause or favorite topic. Then, perhaps not so oddly, I majored in Communication at university and now speak every week before a growing congregation. My writing, speaking and teaching topics are all spiritual in nature. What isn’t?
“When we talk about understanding, surely it takes place only when the mind listens completely – the mind being your heart, your nerves, your ears – when you give your whole attention to it.” ~Jiddu Krishnamurti
What I have discovered to be my biggest aid in communicating with people is…(drum roll, please)…to be authentic…to come from my God-Self and not my ego-self. As long as I let go of all the concerns of what people will think, how they will react to what I say, how cleverly I present the message, how long I go on, whether they understand (or not) the words I use – as long as I release all those thoughts and speak from my heart or pause in silence – the meaning will be understood. Sometimes, such “speaking” comes from just being present in their presence…to hold a sacred space where they, too, can be their authentic selves.
“We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less.” ~Diogenes
Some of my favorite moments have been sitting with a friend, lost in our individual thoughts, connected at the heart-level, and joined in the spirit of the moment. I’ve done that quite often this week, relating with people I’ve just met, known for a few months, or with friends whose lives have mingled with mine for decades. It takes more effort to meet face-to-face and share heart-to-heart; no doubt about it. I come home from these experiences gently used and deeply satisfied, content to have been part of someone’s journey for part of a day or to help with some form of healing. I’d like to think their experiences are as positive as mine. I know that being in their presence has revealed in me a desire to do more of this type of “talking.” I am grateful for the soul exchange and want to attract more of them.
“Sometimes it’s a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence.” ~ David Byrne
As I go through my work day with technology and assorted gadgets, messaging for the sake of efficiency, writing on the computer rather than long-hand, I’m drawn to my phone. I open my contacts database and peruse the list for the name and number of someone dear to call after work. I pull out my note cards and write a message to go with the package to be mailed. The note cards provide just the right amount of space for generous love and few words. I complete my tasks quickly and efficiently so that, when the next opportunity presents itself to hold sacred space for a dear friend, I will be ready to do so…with a smiling face and a loving heart.
“Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.” ~ John Wayne